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What is baptism?

By St Peter's | 07/07/2018

What is baptism? In the early Church, candidates for baptism gathered in the dark of night, naked, to wade into the deep. This was no conventional rite. They threw off their clothes to show themselves naked before God—without secrets, without shame. As one ancient writer says, ‘Casting off these fading leaves which veil our lives,…

Why go to Church?

By St Peter's | 07/07/2018

The Church is called to be “an oasis of leisure and silence and gratitude” (Timothy Radcliffe, What is the Point of Being a Christian? p. 128). We come here seeking our true home and, perhaps, the sense of enchantment we have lost. We come here with many other seekers, wayfarers on the journey to God.…

Truely Free?

By St Peter's | 19/02/2018

In our Gospel Reading this week we have an account of what is called “The Transfiguration.” It is compelling as it is dramatic. But from the outset it is clear that this experience is prefigured in Moses reception of the Law in Exodus 24 and 34. The echoes are strong: there is a high mountain…

God with us

By St Peter's | 19/12/2017

I am a voice crying out in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord. We stand always in the shoes of John the Baptist: we prepare a way for the Lord: always we are clearing a place within ourselves for God’s appearing of God.  Perhaps like John we will even go outside the walls, outside…


By St Peter's | 12/12/2017

Now we begin again: now in Advent, the beginning of the Church’s year, we come to the Gospel of Mark—Mark chapter 1, which begins “The Gospel of Jesus Christ, Son of God.”   So perhaps I will share some of my reflections on this Gospel, so unlike modern literature. It might even seem barbarous and unpolished…

Labouring in the Vineyard

By St Peter's | 17/10/2017

Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. (Mt 21:43) 1. A few years ago I visited the vineyards of the Mornington Peninsula, west of Melbourne. Maybe you know them.  It’s easy to be romantic about a place…


By St Peter's | 21/09/2017

Without the Day of the Lord We Cannot Live! All of us know about being time-poor.  The logic of the machine holds sway everywhere–maximum output in the minimum time. And sadly, our lives in the west have become dangerously unbalanced. Our activity is not rooted in contemplation, in rest: rather we tend to race the…


By St Peter's | 19/09/2017

Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. Mt 18:21-22 1. Forgive seventy times seven!  Why this seemingly random number? Because in Genesis one of…

Politics of Prayer

By St Peter's | 31/08/2017

Evensong 27 August 2017 Chris Tyack 1. More and more we are conscious of a strange loss of nerve in the West today—a spiritual torpor, a restlessness. No one knows whether things will hold together; indeed as the poet tells us “Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”…

Even the puppies

By St Peter's | 25/08/2017

“It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs” “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table” We hear Jesus’ exchange with the Caananite woman—or as it sometimes is, the Syrophonecian woman. Maybe it troubles you, suggesting as it does a rather…

Water walking

By St Peter's | 18/08/2017

At the fourth watch of the night he came wandering towards them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him, they were terrified, saying “It is a ghost!” And they cried out. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid” (Mt 14)   1. We…


By St Peter's | 11/08/2017

The sun sets over still waters, all the people reclining on the grass. Jesus takes the loaves in his hands, breaking and blessing them.  According to Matthew’s account, 5000 men, apart from women and children, were fed that day.  It was, it seems, a prefiguring of the Eucharist: and indeed at every celebration of the…


By St Peter's | 01/08/2017

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. The kingdom of heaven is like a net—a net to catch people…

Human Being, Martyr

By St Peter's | 25/07/2017

… in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. (2 Cor 5) In his second letter to the Corinthians Paul reflects again on the atonement—a reflection obscure, it seems, as ever to us. I must admit some fear venturing on…

Jesus of the Poor

By St Peter's | 18/07/2017

“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they called him a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners,” Mt 13 1. I must admit I’m fond of this line, mainly because it makes Jesus seem the life of the party—much more fun than his more puritanical followers might like to…

Corpus Christi

By St Peter's | 20/06/2017

1. This week the Church marked the feast of Corpus Christi, the feast of the Body and Blood of our Lord–on 15 June–the axis of the year.  This is one of the two great Eucharistic days in the calendar. The other is Maundy Thursday in Holy Week, when we remember Christ’s institution of the Eucharist…

Sacred Rhythm

By St Peter's | 23/05/2017

Evensong, St John’s Cathedral, 21 May 2017 1. For Thomas Cranmer, the author of the Book of Common Prayer in its first two versions, the abolition of the monasteries made possible a new vision of holiness: the holiness of the cloister would be diffused everywhere and among all.  The parish church, with its cycle of…

On Baptism

By St Peter's | 07/05/2017

1. We who live near the ocean know the primal power of water to give life. The swirling water can release repressed emotions; it’s surprising how quickly old wounds can heal in the clean, salty waves. Lately I have been thinking a lot about water, because soon I will baptise my first child. It is…

Why be a Christian? Part 3

By St Peter's | 27/04/2017

The final chapter of Timothy Radcliffe’s work is about stopping, recollecting ourselves and, strange as it might seem, playing games. It is about Sabbath rest.  In Christ, we learn to reclaim the sweetness of time, the otium sanctum—the sacredness of rest.  And this is our obligation for, as we hear in Genesis, God rested on the…

Christus Resurrexit

By St Peter's | 23/04/2017

1. Thomas doubts. I will not trust, he says, until I see the mark of the nails in Jesus’ hands; I will not trust until I can touch those wounds.   And in this story Jesus appears to Thomas, to his sight and to his touch, only to say that he had it the wrong way…

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